Lawsuits To Enforce New Ban On Racial Preferences In Admissions

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Lawsuits to Enforce New Ban on Racial Preferences in Admissions; Law Schools Put On Legal Notice; Whistleblowers Are Being Encouraged

Ban On Racial Preferences In Admissions

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 6, 2023) – Even before the Supreme Court’s decision banning considerations of race in university admissions was released, many universities were reportedly already taking steps and/or making plans to circumvent it so as to continue giving racial preference to Black and Hispanic applicants, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

Indeed, as one legal website reported, “Harvard almost immediately issued a written statement and a video message to the effect that it intends to continue to use race and ethnicity as factors in admissions even after the Supreme Court’s ruling.”

But in what may be only an opening shot across the bow, some 200 of the nation’s law schools have already been put on legal notice that they must immediately terminate “all forms of race, national origin, and sex preferences in student admissions, faculty hiring, and lawreview membership or article selection.”

If they fail to do so, the law schools – as well as their Deans and others involved in the violations – will be sued under Title VI, Title VI, Title VII, and/or Title IX, the written notice warned.

It’s logical to begin by warning law schools, rather than entire universities or other entities within them, for several reasons, suggests Banzhaf.

First, those graduating from law schools are more likely to advance to positions where they can have a major impact on public policy and protecting important rights – e.g. as legislators and lobbyists, judges and law clerks, commissioners and other administrators and staffers at regulatory agencies, and in powerful corporate positions – unlike those graduating with a typical B.A. or B.S. degree, or even with a PhD in most fields.

Second, law school deans, administrators, and faculty are more likely to understand and appreciate the full impact of the Supreme Court’s decision, and not be mislead by those who suggest schemes to circumvent it. For example, Dayna Bowen Matthew, dean of the George Washington University, warned that “the Court made it very clear that it will not tolerate workarounds or end-runs.”

Third, attorneys are held to high ethical standards by written codes, and law school administrators or faculty who knowingly participate in a scheme to deny the constitutional and statutory rights of prospective students, or applicants for faculty positions or advancement, could face legal disciplinary proceedings, and even the possibility of disbarment, suggests Banzhaf, who has filed several successful disbarment complaints against attorneys.

Thus, although several articles have suggested ways universities are planning to circumvent the ruling, the legal notice warned: “There are those within and outside your institutions who will tell you that you can develop an admissions scheme through pretext or proxy to achieve the same discriminatory outcome. Anyone telling you such a thing is coaching you to engage in illegal conduct in brazen violation of a Supreme Court ruling, lawbreaking in which you would be fully complicit and thus fully liable. You are hereby warned.”

Recognizing that many current and prospective law students, law school staff, and even law school faculty are opposed to – and may even become victims of – the illegal discrimination just prohibited by a clear majority of the Supreme Court, at least one website has already been established where they can anonymously report violations and, if appropriate, seek legal representation, says Banzhaf, who has won over 100 cases of illegal discrimination.

Thus, in encouraging such whistleblower tips, the legal notice warned that “we will ensure that every faculty member, staff member, student, and applicant for admission can communicate with us about any efforts to use underhanded race, national origin, and sex preferences, and we will use any information obtained to ensure accountability.”